Can someone please explain to me what the hell is happening in France? Ten nights of rioting? When I heard the initial reports and heard that the riots were kicked off by the electrocution of two teenagers, I thought that the rioters were protesting the death penalty. It turns out, however, that the teenagers were accidentally electrocuted while hiding in a power substation while fleeing from the police. I'm not even sure that France has the death penalty (the film La Femme Nikita made it look like France still had the death penalty, but Luc Besson movies are probably not the most accurate way to get your information about the legal systems of foreign countries).
Now the media is saying that the rioters are largely members of France's Muslim and North African immigrant population, and that the rioters are simply upset that they are trapped in a society which is prejudiced against them and which seems incapable of providing them with fair employment opportunities.
Well, it's saddening and a strangely comforting to see that we're not the only country amongst the Western, industrialized nations with some problems in the area of racial inequality. It also strikes me that it's probably a good thing that, for the most part, the American underclass doesn't resort to rioting and burning vehicles as a means of expressing their dissatisfaction. The fact that we don't have rioting in this country may mean that although things in the U.S. are far from perfect, at least people feel that there are some lines of communication open so that discussion can still take place about what needs to be done. When people feel that they've got no other options- I would imagine that's when the rioting begins. Then again, given France's history, maybe the people over there just enjoy a good riot every now and again.
Anyhoo, I don't really understand what's going on over there in France. I thought they just drank wine and nipped on cheese over there.